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Shanghai enforces new COVID testing as some parts of China extend lockdown

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Several large Chinese cities including Shanghai are on their toes due to new outbreaks of COVID-19 infections, rolling out repeated mass testing or extending lockdowns on millions of residents, with some measures triggering a public outcry.

China has reported an average of around 390 local daily infections in the seven days ending on Sunday, higher than about 340 seven days earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on official data as of Monday. That is tiny compared with a resurgence in other parts of Asia.  

Still, any flare-up would unnerve local officials, with China adamant in implementing its dynamic zero COVID policy of eliminating outbreaks as soon as they emerge and punishing officials if they fail to do so.

The commercial hub Shanghai, which has yet to fully recover from the harsh two-month lockdown in spring and is still reporting daily sporadic cases, said on Monday it plans to hold mass testing in many of its 16 districts and in some smaller areas where new infections had been reported recently, after similar testing last week. 

“There is still an epidemic risk at the community level so far,” the city government said in a statement.

Shanghai reported more than a dozen new cases but none was found outside quarantined areas, local government data showed on Monday.

“I’m speechless,” said a Shanghai resident surnamed Wang, already subject to testing every weekend at her residential compound. “It sounds like a waste of resources that doesn’t address the real problem.”

The northern city of Tianjin, which launched multiple rounds of mass testing in recent months to curb earlier outbreaks, said on Monday it is again testing its more than 12 million residents, after two local infections were found.

In the central Chinese city of Zhumadian, lockdowns for more than a million people in two towns under its jurisdiction are extended for a few days until Tuesday. Temporary lockdowns for over 3 million in four other towns have been extended to Monday. Zhumadian continues to report dozens of cases daily despite curbs last week.

The capital Beijing, which reported zero local infections during July 11-17, closed up a residential compound on Monday as authorities proceeded to check on two suspected infections.

‘No humanity’

Authorities in the southern region of Guangxi said late on Sunday they removed two officials in the city of Beihai from their jobs for acting poorly in their COVID response.

The city of Beihai, with a population of 1.9 million and currently clocking over 500 infections, has launched multiple rounds of mass testing and locked down some areas.

As of Sunday, over 2,000 tourists were stuck in the city.

In the southern city of Guangzhou, COVID control staffers broke down the locks of apartment doors without residents’ consent, stirring an outcry on social media over the weekend.

Authorities in one district in Guangzhou on Monday apologised to residents.

The issue was among the top 10 list of topics trending on China’s Twitter-like social media Weibo.

“It’s too horrifying, too ridiculous,” wrote a Weibo user. “No humanity, no law.”

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20220718/shanghai-enforces-new-covid-testing-as-some-parts-of-china-extend-lockdown/68163.html

International

New Zealand plans law to require Facebook, Google to pay for news

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The New Zealand government said it will introduce a law that will require big online digital companies such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc to pay New Zealand media companies for the local news content that appears on their feeds.

Minister of Broadcasting Willie Jackson said in a statement on Sunday that the legislation will be modelled on similar laws in Australia and Canada and he hoped it would act as an incentive for the digital platforms to reach deals with local news outlets.

“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online,” Jackson said. “It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it.”

The new legislation will go to a vote in parliament where the governing Labour Party’s majority is expected to pass it.

Australia introduced a law in 2021 that gave the government power to make internet companies negotiate content supply deals with media outlets. A review released by the Australian government last week found it largely worked.

The New Zealand government said it will introduce a law that will require big online digital companies such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc to pay New Zealand media companies for the local news content that appears on their feeds.

Minister of Broadcasting Willie Jackson said in a statement on Sunday that the legislation will be modelled on similar laws in Australia and Canada and he hoped it would act as an incentive for the digital platforms to reach deals with local news outlets.

“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online,” Jackson said. “It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it.”

The new legislation will go to a vote in parliament where the governing Labour Party’s majority is expected to pass it.

Australia introduced a law in 2021 that gave the government power to make internet companies negotiate content supply deals with media outlets. A review released by the Australian government last week found it largely worked.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20221205/new-zealand-plans-law-to-require-facebook-google-to-pay-for-news/70340.html

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Indonesia evacuates villagers as volcano erupts on Java island

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A volcano erupted in Indonesia on Sunday spewing a cloud of ash 15 km into the sky and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people, authorities said, as they issued their highest warning for the area in the east of Java island.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the eruption of the Semeru volcano and Indonesia’s transport ministry said that there was no impact on air travel but notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.

“Most roads have been closed since this morning and now it is raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” community volunteer Bayu Deny Alfianto told Reuters by telephone from near the volcano.

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java, erupted last year killing more than 50 people and displacing thousands.

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been moved to 11 shelters and authorities had distributed masks to residents. The eruption began at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday) and rescue, search and evacuation efforts were going on.

The volcano’s plume of ash reached a height of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which had initially been on alert for the possibility that the volcano could trigger a tsunami. It later ruled that out.

The eruption, some 640 km (400 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes in the west of Java, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022.  Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to its highest level and warned residents not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre.

Hot ash clouds had drifted nearly 12 miles (19 km) from the centre of eruption, it said.

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a bigger volume of magma could have built up compared with previous eruptions of the volcano, in 2021 and 2020, which could mean greater danger for a bigger area.

“Semeru’s hot clouds could reach further and at a distance where there are many residences,” he said.

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

In a video sent to Reuters by police in the area, villagers were seen moving away from the slopes of the volcano, some with belongings stacked on motor bikes. A damaged bridge was covered in volcanic ash.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living close range to volcano, with 8.6 million people within 10 km (6 miles) of one.

The deadly late-November quake that hit in West Java was 5.6 magnitude but at a shallow depth. A 6.1 quake struck at a deeper depth on Saturday sending people running from buildings but it did not cause major damage or casualties.

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

A volcano erupted in Indonesia on Sunday spewing a cloud of ash 15 km into the sky and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people, authorities said, as they issued their highest warning for the area in the east of Java island.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the eruption of the Semeru volcano and Indonesia’s transport ministry said that there was no impact on air travel but notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.

“Most roads have been closed since this morning and now it is raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” community volunteer Bayu Deny Alfianto told Reuters by telephone from near the volcano.

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java, erupted last year killing more than 50 people and displacing thousands.

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been moved to 11 shelters and authorities had distributed masks to residents. The eruption began at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday) and rescue, search and evacuation efforts were going on.

The volcano’s plume of ash reached a height of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which had initially been on alert for the possibility that the volcano could trigger a tsunami. It later ruled that out.

The eruption, some 640 km (400 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes in the west of Java, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022.  Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to its highest level and warned residents not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre.

Hot ash clouds had drifted nearly 12 miles (19 km) from the centre of eruption, it said.

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a bigger volume of magma could have built up compared with previous eruptions of the volcano, in 2021 and 2020, which could mean greater danger for a bigger area.

“Semeru’s hot clouds could reach further and at a distance where there are many residences,” he said.

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

In a video sent to Reuters by police in the area, villagers were seen moving away from the slopes of the volcano, some with belongings stacked on motor bikes. A damaged bridge was covered in volcanic ash.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living close range to volcano, with 8.6 million people within 10 km (6 miles) of one.

The deadly late-November quake that hit in West Java was 5.6 magnitude but at a shallow depth. A 6.1 quake struck at a deeper depth on Saturday sending people running from buildings but it did not cause major damage or casualties.

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20221205/indonesia-evacuates-villagers-as-volcano-erupts-on-java-island/70339.html

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Indonesia raises volcano warning to highest after Semeru erupts, evacuation underway

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Indonesian authorities raised the warning on Semeru volcano to the highest level on Sunday after an eruption spewed a column of ash high into the air, the country’s vulcanology agency said.

The evacuation of people, including children and seniors, living near the volcano in East Java province had also begun, said Abdul Muhari, spokesperson for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB.

The plume from the volcano reached a height of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which was monitoring for the possibility of a tsunami there.

The eruption on the eastern part of Java island, some 640 km (400 miles) east of the capital Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes on the west of the island, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to IV from III, its chief said in a text message.

With the raised alert level, authorities warned residents not to conduct any activities within 8 km (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre, PVMBG said.

Some residents nearby have evacuated independently to safer buildings like mosques and schools, according to a statement from the regional government of Lumajang, where Semeru is located.

The regional administration banned activities near the volcano, including the movement of sand trucks, as they could affect evacuation process.

“Most of the road accesses have been closed since this morning. Now its raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” Bayu Deny Alfianto, a local volunteer told Reuters by phone.

Small eruptions were continuing and it was raining in the area, he said.

The volcano began erupting at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday), BNPB, said in a statement. Videos posted on social media showed grey ash clouds in nearby areas.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population globally living in close range to a volcano, including 8.6 million within 10 km (6 miles).

The deadly late-November quake that hit West Java’s Cianjur was a shallow temblor of 5.6 magnitude. A much deeper quake on Saturday in Gurat of 6.1 magnitude sent people running from buildings but did not cause major damage.

Indonesian authorities raised the warning on Semeru volcano to the highest level on Sunday after an eruption spewed a column of ash high into the air, the country’s vulcanology agency said.

The evacuation of people, including children and seniors, living near the volcano in East Java province had also begun, said Abdul Muhari, spokesperson for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB.

The plume from the volcano reached a height of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which was monitoring for the possibility of a tsunami there.

The eruption on the eastern part of Java island, some 640 km (400 miles) east of the capital Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes on the west of the island, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to IV from III, its chief said in a text message.

With the raised alert level, authorities warned residents not to conduct any activities within 8 km (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre, PVMBG said.

Some residents nearby have evacuated independently to safer buildings like mosques and schools, according to a statement from the regional government of Lumajang, where Semeru is located.

The regional administration banned activities near the volcano, including the movement of sand trucks, as they could affect evacuation process.

“Most of the road accesses have been closed since this morning. Now its raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” Bayu Deny Alfianto, a local volunteer told Reuters by phone.

Small eruptions were continuing and it was raining in the area, he said.

The volcano began erupting at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday), BNPB, said in a statement. Videos posted on social media showed grey ash clouds in nearby areas.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population globally living in close range to a volcano, including 8.6 million within 10 km (6 miles).

The deadly late-November quake that hit West Java’s Cianjur was a shallow temblor of 5.6 magnitude. A much deeper quake on Saturday in Gurat of 6.1 magnitude sent people running from buildings but did not cause major damage.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20221204/indonesia-raises-volcano-warning-to-highest-after-semeru-erupts-evacuation-underway/70333.html

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